Need more than one report? Subscribe to Key Note today for immediate access to market research, company information, a unique bespoke report generator and our easy to use sales leads builder. Request a free online demo

Key Note Media Centre

Press Releases

Recession alters consumer's choice of leisure activities...

Article Date


Market intelligence provider Key Note valued the market for leisure activities outside the home at £60.4bn in 2009, representing just 7% of total consumer spending. In Leisure Outside the Home, its new Market Review, Key Note's consumer research* provides clear evidence that the recession has had an impact on leisure activities outside the home, with trips involving significant spending, such as eating out or going to the cinema, down in terms of percentage penetration.

These deteriorations are in contrast with previous increases in penetration observed between 2006 and 2008. For example, the penetration of people eating out increased from 50.4% to 53.3% over the period from 2006 to 2008, while the proportion of people going to the cinema rose from 23.5% to 34.8%. Another indication of the recession's impact is that activities which cost very little, such as visiting friends or relatives (VFR), countryside walks and outdoor pursuits, either remained stable or increased between 2008 and 2010.

  • Even in the era of the social-networker and web surfer, 81.2% of adults found time, at least once a week, for VFR, underlining the continuing importance of social leisure. The popularity of this type of leisure also helps to explain the modern consumer's concern for maintaining a home which is suitable for entertaining guests.
  • Shopping and/or window shopping is well established as a leisure pursuit, but penetration perhaps unsurprisingly dropped slightly to 58.2% in the 2010 survey, probably owing to consumers avoiding the temptation of shopping for items that were not considered essential during the economic crisis.
  • A walk in the country or walking the dog offered a suitable, cost-free alternative for getting out of the house during the recession, with penetration up from 51% in 2008 to 54.9% in 2010.

Eating out** was still enjoyed once a week by nearly half the population (45.6%) in 2010, despite the after-effects of the recession. The most significant trend seen in eating out as a leisure activity was that it overtook 'drinking out', which dipped quite severely to 35.4%, having been recorded at 42.5% in 2006. The proliferation of restaurants of all types, as well as the tendency of publicans to turn their saloon bars into restaurant areas, reflects this finding.

The early 2000s witnessed a period of buoyant growth for out-of-home leisure, which grew by 34% between 2002 and 2006; however, the recession along with market saturation has led Key Note to predict lower growth for the 5 years to 2014. Key Note forecasts that, at current prices, only 4.7% will be added to the total consumer leisure spend outside the home.

Structural changes to leisure spending will be ongoing, with alcohol likely to decline in importance, although this will release spending for other, generally healthier, pursuits. The eating out and sports markets still have potential for growth and out-of-home leisure pursuits will continue to provide an attractive alternative to the sedentary lifestyle offered by multi-channel television and the Internet.

Press enquiries: Lisa Ivey at Key Note at or 0845-504 0452. Press/review copies of the report are available on request.

Notes to editors:

* Key Note has commissioned a NEMS Market Research survey into consumers' favourite leisure pastimes, both outside the home and within it. This survey has sampled around 1,000 adults across Great Britain in three biennial surveys since 2006. Presented with a list of activities, respondents were simply asked: "Which of the following leisure activities do you take part in at least once a week outside the home?".

** Eating out is defined here as going out for a meal excluding work hours and, therefore, focuses on the leisure 'occasion' in a restaurant or at least the opportunity to avoid cooking at home.

Key Note's 2010 Market Review, Leisure Outside the Home, examines the following group of activities: catering (eating out in restaurants and drinking in pubs, bars, nightclubs, etc.), sporting activities (including sports and keeping-fit activities), gambling (full coverage, including home-based gambling), and entertainment outside the home (spectator sports, cinemas, theatre, museums and other cultural and social activities).

Key Note Ltd has been providing commercially relevant market information to libraries, academia and businesses for almost 30 years. With over 1,000 titles available across 30 market sectors, and new or updated titles published every week, Key Note is one of the UK's most prolific and respected business information providers. Within the range, some reports are written in response to particular market conditions, whereas other reports will be produced regularly year on year.

View FREE Executive Summary and Table of Contents for Leisure Outside the Home